My very own Skinny on Skinny Jeans

by Rumour Miller on August 21, 2012

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Last weekend Craig and I spent the day in the city with Davilyn and Quinn.  We tortured them by making them run errands with us and hang out at the mall so we could do some browsing and shopping.  By “tortured them”, I really mean we tortured ourselves.  I always wonder (after the fact) why the hell I took them to the mall to shop.

Davilyn is going into her last year of preschool and the child loves dresses.  She still wears quite a bit of Piper’s hand-me-downs, so there aren’t too many dresses to be seen.  I used the “back to school” reason and bought her a few.

The following day was Piper’s turn, so she and I made our way to the mall in search of some pants, tops and jeans.  Yes, jeans.  Piper would live in jeans and t-shirts.  She needs nothing else in her closet.  I am mostly okay with this.  She has her own sense of style and I am giving her that room to explore who she is and how she expresses that.  Well I am mostly okay with it until I actually try to find jeans that fit her.

My gorgeously athletic soccer/ringette/hockey player.

Finding jeans for her is like finding a needle in a haystack.  The Globe and Mail had this article, The Real and troubling skinny on skinny jeans for kids, and I thought “this article was written about Piper”.  It hit right in my daughter’s closet.

In the era of skinny jeans, one that I hate, they have forgotten to make other fitting jeans.  I can’t even think of a term, “normal” fitting jeans.  You know, the kind of jeans that don’t look like they have been painted on each morning.

Taken from the article:

“…Indeed, it may interest designers to note that the opposite of skinny isn’t always the dreaded “husky” – the Scarlet Letter for anyone who came of age in the seventies and eighties – but “muscular.” I know a 9-year-old girl, gorgeous and bright, a gifted athlete who excels at every sport and plays them all. Hence, she has one of those strong female bodies we worship at the Olympics but not on the runway. Because of this, she is mostly relegated to sweats: Finding pants that fit is difficult, as most jeans are now “skinny” jeans (the oxymoronic “plus-sized skinnies” wouldn’t fit either because she’s not actually overweight). At 9, she’ll sometimes wear skinnies made for 14– to 16-year-olds,with alterations. In any case, this 9-year-old gets a clear message when she walks into a store: There’s already a bodily ideal – and you’re not it.“…

This my friends, is my Piper.  You may remember my post How Do You Talk to A Diva, which was written in response to this very thing.  About talking to little girls in a body conscious society.  The way I talk to my girls about their appearance is the least of my worries.  I am much more worried about the message they get when they go shopping.  So far, I’m lucky.  They don’t really get brand names or styles.  They are just as happy with clothing from Wal-Mart as they are from The Children’s Place or Roxy.  They just don’t  know any different and we don’t talk about it.

Yet.

That’s all going to change for me in a few years.  When peers start influencing them more and more and they ask for brand name clothing.  When I might have to explain to Piper that skinny jeans were not meant for her body type.

Davilyn, on the other hand, does not have the same strong, athletic build as her older sister.  For her, buying the skinny jeans works.  With no hips to mention and a waist the size of my wrist, this style fits.

Do you have any idea the drama that this could create in my household in the years to come if the current body types of my girls follow them into their tween and teen years?  Shit.  I am in trouble.  Well… I am in trouble regardless.

Can I just tell you though, that I hate the label skinny jean and I, too, hate the sexualizing characteristics that we see in children’s clothing.  I am trying to protect my children from that very thing and society is throwing it back in our face.  It is not cute to see a child or a tween wearing a bikini that hardly provides her any coverage.  It’s provocative and I can’t imagine that it would be at all comfortable for her.  When my girls are wearing swimsuits, they are not laying on a beach sunbathing.  They are running and jumping and, well, otherwise acting like children!  So, ill-fitting swimwear is hardly appropriate.

I just do not understand why we would want our children to grow up faster than they have to.  I am trying to slow down that process not expedite it.  I want my children to be valued based on their personalities and hard work not on what they look like and what they are wearing.

In a post I titled, Conversations I Must have with My Daughters, I talked about this very thing:

“When it comes to dressing… more really is better

There is absolutely no reason on this earth for you to wear clothing that is too revealing. Ever. It serves no purpose nor does it make you a better person. It is certainly not the way that you want to get attention or approval.

Showing your midriff is only acceptable at the beach. Even then, show less not more. I don’t ever want to wonder what happened to the other half of your skirt and when I tell you that you are not leaving the house “wearing that”, please don’t turn it into a battle. You will not win.

And for the love of Pete, never bring home a boy who wears his pants hanging half way down his ass. Ever.”

And I believe in every single word I wrote.  And that’s my very own skinny on skinny jeans.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mariette McRae August 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Nicole, I love your blogs and I love your approach to child-rearing. Your little girls are lucky – they will grow up with the boundaries they need to be comfortable and safe, and the freedom they need to get to explore and know themselves. I admire your willingness to put so much of yourself into your blogs, and I frequently get reminded what a positive and clever young woman you are. Keep up the good work!!

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Rumour Miller August 22, 2012 at 9:58 am

Thank you for the inspring and heartfelt comment. I believe that I have had some pretty good role models in my life as well… parents, teachers and friends parents.

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Emily @ablanket2keep August 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I can understand how difficult it is to find any jeans other than “skinny”. That’s all that is out there and I hate it. I can’t wear them. It has got to be so hard when dealing with that with kids. I remember having a hard time finding a good fit when I was a kid. I was straight, long legs and solid. I ended up wearing boys jeans for years. Even through high school. I liked how I could get the waist and legs however I wanted. I too love your approach to raising your girls. Always how I thought I would like to be.
Emily @ablanket2keep recently posted..6 weeks: meet roo

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